Self must be the only one of her classmates in East Asian Studies (Chinese) that never went to China.
She hopes to correct that oversight, and soon.
In the meantime, she heard about a city on the California coast, a Buddhist city, founded by a fellow student at Stanford, Shari Epstein.
A few days ago, self went trolling for Shari on the web, and she stumbled on a memoir called “Growing Up in the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas.” Here’s the first paragraph:
The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas was my whole world when I was growing up. I remember trying to tell one of my classmates in college about it. I went on for about half an hour, and then he said, “I have no idea what you are talking about. I can’t even imagine that kind of community.” My heart sank. I realized that what had been such a central, dominant and treasured experience in my life was marginal, strange, and inaccessible to most people. My earliest memories are of attending Sutra lectures with my parents. (Sutras are Buddhist scriptures). Every evening we would go to the temple, and I would play with the other kids while the adults chanted and then listened to our teacher, Master Hsuan Hua, give Dharma talks (lectures on Buddhist teachings). Master Hua was a respected, high monk in Asia but nothing about him made that obvious to me. From my point of view he was a kindly older monk whom everyone called Shr Fu, a Chinese term meaning literally “teacher-father.”
Shari, now that self has read this amazing piece, she regrets that she never knew you.
Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.